- Paperback: 274 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 29, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521566827
- ISBN-13: 978-0521566827
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hiroshima in History and Memory
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"...thought-provoking....Instead of demanding an apology from the U.S. for dropping the atomic bombs, Japanese politicians should look at themselves in the mirror and ask America and the rest of the world for forgiveness." The Christian News
"Overall,...this volume is the best available to date on the Enola Gay exhibit." Robert P. Newman, Pacific Historical Review
A timely collection of essays unites up-to-date scholarship by diplomatic historians with the recent emerging interest in memory. Prominent historians survey the Hiroshima story, from the American decision to drop the bomb to the recent controversy over the Enola Gay exhibit.
Top customer reviews
Several essays reflect on how the bombing has affected commemoration of the event. Without a clear understanding of Hiroshima from both Americans and Japanese, one cannot equally or fully commemorate or represent the bombing of Hiroshima. The essays in HIROSHIMA AND HISTORY AND MEMORY attempts to present the facts within each essay, and each historian, such as J. Samuel Walker, John W. Dower, Barton J. Bernstein, and a host of others emphasize that the decision to drop the bomb and end the war did not only involve justifying saving military casualties, but the fear of an imminent power on the rise -- the Soviet Union (despite their position as an allie at the time, their possible invasion would have helped the Japanese surrender).
HIROSHIMA IN HISTORY AND MEMORY examines basic history as it pertains to the bombing of Hiroshima. The essays are readable and understandable. The events that occurred in August 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are two major historical events that continue to be a discussion of debate.
But, of course, an alternate memory has developed, yet it is often dismissed by the euphemistic expression, 'historical revisionism'. This appears to be some sort of code for 'this sort of history is not acceptable to the conservative elements in contemporary American society, certainly much less to those who actually witnessed combat in the Pacific'. By virtue of fact, it has no legitimate place among orthodox histories. All history is subject to revision, for the simple reason new facts become available and each generation chooses to impose it's own standards. This is certainly the case with Hiroshima. But this shouldn't be construed as 'wrong' or a 'threat', rather it adds to the debate and formation of ideas which underpin the importance of Hiroshima and historiography. Context retains an essential place.
However, for those of you interested in the importance of historicity, of debate, and value the idea of an education as opposed to acccess to information, I cannot recommend this book enough. It has it all. Needless to say Hiroshima touches a raw nerve both in Japan and America. It also has much currency in Australia. So I do not in any way set out to discredit the efforts of those men and women who gave their services to the state during WW2. I do, however, recommend that prospective readers keep an open mind and try avoid getting caught up in the limited rhetoric of the conservative right and the emotional left.